Great Northern Warehouse 3

GALLERY | Plans in for £300m Great Northern Warehouse

Charlie Schouten

Developers Trilogy Real Estate and Peterson, alongside architect SimpsonHaugh and main contractor Laing O’Rourke, have submitted a planning application for a comprehensive overhaul of Manchester’s Great Northern Warehouse.

The first and second phases of the scheme includes a new street, a conversion of the warehouse into residential space, and a redesigned public realm at the site’s Peter Street frontage.

This includes 142 apartments over 209,000 sq ft; 22,000 sq ft of food and beverage space; a 17,000 sq ft gym; and 3,000 sq ft of retail.

In phase one, the existing amphitheatre facing Peter Street will be covered over, with a lawn and trees planted on top to make the square more attractive and easier to navigate. The pavilion building fronting Peter Street is due to remain. Across the site, Trilogy said that public space will be increased by 25%, from 67,000 sq ft to 84,000 sq ft.

The former Dwell unit on the corner of Peter Street and Deansgate will be demolished, to create Dean Street, a new pedestrian street running parallel to Deansgate, providing units aimed at independent cafés, restaurants and bars. Residential use is planned for the upper floors, with 12 apartments situated above the food and beverage space.

Phase two covers the warehouse, which will be overhauled to house 130 apartments, a gym, food and beverage, and retail.

Current occupiers at ground floor level of the main warehouse, including All Star Lanes and Home Sweet Home, will all be retained as part of the plans. The existing casino at the warehouse’s first floor will also be retained as part of the plans, with new gym and restaurant uses proposed for vacant areas of the south end of the building.

The car park on the upper three levels of the building will be converted into 130 one and two-bed apartments, situated primarily above the casino and the building’s eastern end. A central atrium, designed as a nod to a Victorian winter garden, is planned for the centre of the warehouse.

Additions made to the building in the 1990s – including car parking ramps and a series of raised walkways – will be demolished, while extensive repairs will be made to the warehouse. These will include re-glazing of all the warehouse’s metal-framed windows; masonry repairs; and complete replacement of the building’s roof covering.

Future phases of the scheme will include the redevelopment of the existing AMC Cinema, but will not progress until the cinema’s lease expires in 2022.

The proposals were first revealed at a series of public consultations last summer. Initial plans for a café next to the proposed lawn over the amphitheatre were ditched following criticisms that outdoor seating areas would “diminish” the impact of the public realm.

Alongside SimpsonHaugh, the professional team also includes Laing O’Rourke, Planit IE as landscape architect, Curtins as transport planner, WSP as building services engineer, Johnson Naylor as interior architect, Walker Sime as quantity surveyor, 2110 Consult as surveyor and project manager, and Deloitte as planner.

The site was acquired by Trilogy and Peterson in 2013.

Robert Wolstenholme of Trilogy Real Estate said: “The Great Northern Warehouse and Square offer one of the most significant regeneration opportunities in Manchester city centre, and we have spoken to over 200 local stakeholders and residents to try to get this right. In particular, this process has shaped the character of the public space, where we aim to play our part in a city-wide initiative to bring trees and greenery into the heart of the civic centre.

“We’re restoring the historic character of the Great Northern, stripping away the modern structures that disfigure the historic warehouse and making sensitive interventions that are in tune with the quality of the site.

“Alongside our neighbours at St Johns, our vision is to regenerate this underperforming part of the city and create a new urban quarter that will add to Manchester’s building reputation as a world city.”

Nick Owen, partner at SimpsonHaugh added: “The design proposals are shaped by the key principles of respecting and celebrating the site’s heritage assets and transforming the existing public realm.

“By stripping back the obtrusive modern additions and sensitively repairing and enhancing the original fabric, we aim to reveal this great building for the public to enjoy.”

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Its…nice! we have grown so use to awful glass and concrete ego size ‘luxury’ disasters in manchester we go into disbeliving shock when something is…just nice.good effective public consultation And hardly any bulldozers involved.
it can be done. lets have more nice sensible developments with a small d thanks.

By dee rose

The open space around this needs to be really effectively utilised with green.Can we avoid all that hideous street furniture they are so fond of in Manchester.No bogeys or windmills please.

By Elephant

Great to see a green ‘pocket park’ space! Need lots more in the city centre if we’re ever going to catch up on other cities, esp in Europe, in terms of quality of living environment.

By MancLad

Great scheme – Neville/Giggs/Flood take note. If properly managed, footfall will be attracted by the open space to the benefit of occupiers. A far better result than trying to maximise GDV by building on every last inch.

By ChesneyT


Love it. Refreshing change… needs to become the norm.

By Town Planner

Looks good!

By Anonymous

Looks to be a very welcome change and improvement. Well done to the whole team for coming up with something so refreshing. Too many times, however, artist impressions remain just that. We’ll be watching with interest to see if this develops into reality.

By Ian Jones

The last image seems to suggest the building joining the warehouse with the cinema will be removed. Is this the case?

By Curious